Magnetic: Cage Closed
You wake up in a locked facility with not a single soul in sight, and a disembodied authoritarian voice guides you through a series of potentially deadly rooms filled with traps whilst you’re armed with only a shoddy physics-manipulating gun to aid you. Sound familiar? Well, it may not the next instalment of Portal, but it’s definitely the next best thing. Magnetic: Cage Closed is a first person puzzle solving platformer, with a simple premise but brilliant execution. You play as Prisoner X-whatever it is (it’s a long number!) imprisoned in the nameless facility for unknown crimes, and you’re the newest and brightest subject chosen for the Experimental Weapons Program – what’s the upside to this? Well, you’re fighting for your freedom. Pretty much, if you don’t die in the prison’s many deadly rooms and make it to the end of the so-called course, you’re given a clean slate and your heinous record (whatever it is) is expunged.
Armed with a magnetic polarity gun known as the D27, you’re left to fend for yourself throughout the trap ridden facility. It’s pretty simple – red means push, blue means pull. Red means push, blue means pull. You can use your gun to pull or push objects; such as companion cubes, or yourself!, in order to push the buttons and pull the levers that are necessary for you to unlock the door to the next chamber. The puzzles start off relatively simple, especially if you’ve played any sort of game like Portal or even Tomb Raider before. Don’t be fooled though; as there’s a steep curve in difficulty that will definitely keep you entertained. It mixes logical puzzle solving with skill based gameplay, making it a brilliant blend for both sides of the solving spectrum. You can’t brute force your way through every puzzle!
There are only two characters that you interact with (sort of…) in the game: Warden Keene, the brusque Iron Bull impersonator who seems to genuinely want you to fail on your journey and seems similarly upset whenever you complete a room. The second disembodied voice that guides you is GLaDOS Doctor Karen, the psychiatrist who teaches you how to use your weapons and is the one that conducts the tutorials and choice-making sessions. Although both of these disembodied voices are mostly sarcastic and seemingly disinterested, their words and comments are full of tips and tricks to help you avoid the fire traps, chlorine gas, spikes and other hideous killing machines that await you in each chamber.
That being said, though, there’s definitely no condescending babying of the player as they progress through the puzzles that get harder and harder which each room! Once they imply a tip or teach you something, it’s unlikely that they’ll repeat it again along the line. Half the time, they won’t give you any help at all, they’ll just leave you to your own devices to cry your tears of frustration as you try to ferret your way through the obstacle courses without any idea of what you’re doing.
What sets this game apart is that it has a nine different available endings, which all depend on the choices made by players at certain points along their journey towards freedom. Some choices are seemingly innocuous, whereas others have the gravity of life and death situations! But be careful, you don’t have a lot of time to make your choices! Don’t let the timer run out, or the Warden and Dr Karen won’t be pleased.
This indie title is getting rave reviews all across town and currently has an 8/10 score on Steam, and it’s currently available for PC download for $14.99 on Steam! Definitely a game that’s worth playing if you’re into puzzle solving games that will rack your brain and definitely get your neurons firing.